2011 Monaco GP, practice: Team quotes 

Written by David on May 26th, 2011 at 6:12 pmLast Update: May 26th, 2011 at 6:12 pm

James Key: “We have had a normal first day of practice here in Monaco. As is usual at the beginning of the Grand Prix weekend, the grip level was very low. In the first session we went out early with both cars to give the drivers a good chance to adapt, but this also meant the tyres were finished quite early. The suspension parts we brought to the car worked as expected. In the afternoon we compared the tyre compounds – the soft and the super soft. We did long runs with both and they are working well. We now have to analyse our data and need to work on our performance on fresh tyres for qualifying, because that is the part which is not quite a hundred per cent.”

Sam Michael: “We worked through all the items we wanted to today. With 79 laps, Pastor completed more mileage across the two sessions than anyone else, covering more than a race distance. That has helped us gain valuable information on the aero parts we had on the cars and to properly evaluate a new diffuser and rear wing. Now we have a lot of data which we will go through tonight in order to make the decision as to what we will race here. Both tyres, the Soft and Super Soft, held up well so that will certainly steer race strategy.”

Ross Brawn: “We had a productive day with lots of good work achieved. The team recovered extremely well from Michael’s incident this morning, and gave him a good car for the afternoon session. We worked on high and low fuels levels with the two tyre compounds, and the tyres seemed to hold up reasonably well, probably better than we expected, which will be taken into account for Sunday’s race. Overall, today was a good start to our Monaco weekend.”

Norbert Haug: “We had a productive first day here in Monaco with Nico and Michael posting good lap times compared to our competitors. Certainly we have made a much better start to the weekend than one week ago in Barcelona. Michael had a little off in the first session and the team did a great job to repair the car by shortly after the start of the afternoon session, so that Michael was still able to complete 33 laps. Our plan is to make another step on Saturday and hopefully we can qualify both cars in a good position for the race on Sunday.”

Martin Whitmarsh: “It always feels pleasant to be on the Côte d’Azur on a sunny day – and it feels even better when you’ve got two cars looking consistently competitive after the first day of practice at Monte-Carlo. I think the whole team did an extremely solid job today: both Lewis and Jenson drove very well, kept out of trouble and were able to refine their cars throughout both sessions. The engineers and the mechanics also worked faultlessly together at what is without doubt the most difficult of challenges from an engineering and logistical point of view. While it’s encouraging to see both cars towards the top of the time-sheets, we’re under no illusions that this will be anything other than an extremely closely fought weekend: it’s clear that Red Bull Racing, Ferrari and Mercedes GP all look very strong – and that bodes well for a very tight battle for qualifying and an extremely entertaining race on Sunday.”

Thierry Salvi: “This was a good day. We have put a lot of miles on the cars and with the unique nature of this track we can have driveability problems so it’s important to set up the engine to give the drivers something they are happy with. The feedback we have had so far looks like we have found a good setup so I think we are set for a good P3 and qualifying.”

Mike Gascoyne: “A very useful first day of running with no mechanical issues with either car. The track had its normal issues with dirt and traffic but overall we’re very happy. Tyre degradation looks to be much lower than expected and we have accumulated a lot of data that will be good for the race. In performance terms we are really quite close to the cars in front and with the improvements we expect to see on Saturday I think this has been another good day for the team.”

Riad Asmat: “That sort of performance is very encouraging. It is good to see that we have we had another day without reliability problems and today everything went how we wanted it to. Finishing around half a second from the guys ahead gives us something to fight for in qualifying and I think the experience we have in both cars, and throughout the team, should give us a good chance of having another good day on Saturday.”

Pat Fry: “A good start to this very special weekend that takes place against this always incredible backdrop. Today we concentrated mainly on finding the best set-up for the car and on checking the behaviour of the two types of tyre that Pirelli has brought for this track, one of which, the Supersoft is making its debut at a race. From what we could see, the times are pretty consistent, but we know that the track here changes from Thursday to Saturday, so we cannot take anything for granted. This morning we checked a handful of minor aerodynamic updates – the 150 Italia is basically the same as it was at the Catalunya circuit – and then we tried to deliver Felipe and Fernando a balanced car in which they could have full confidence to push to the limit. Now we have a bit more time than usual to prepare as well as possible for qualifying and the race. There are some areas on which need to improve and we can, but from what we have seen today, at least it looks as though we are on the right road to being in the running.”

John Booth: “First of all I’d like to say what a great job the team have done to get both cars ready in Monaco specification in the space of time we’ve had. There was a lot of work necessary at the front due to the changes in steering setup required for this circuit. The cars showed great reliability today so we could work through our full programme, maximising the track running with both cars. We split the two setup programmes, Jérôme mainly focusing on set ups to help ride and Timo concentrating on optimising the mass distribution. From the results of these two programmes we will decide on the best setup to apply to both cars. As part of Timo’s programme he ran Option tyres very early on, so I’m sure there’s a bit more to come from him. Jérôme did a great job again as a rookie round Monaco, which is by no means easy. Both cars completed long runs on the two types of tyre at the end. We seem to be seeing nearly double degradation on the Super Soft than the Soft. Overall we’ve got a huge amount of data but also an extra day to go through it all, which is how we will spend tomorrow.”

Dominic Harlow: “A typical Thursday in Monaco with times falling through the two sessions as more laps are run. Our aerodynamic revisions for this event seem to be performing as expected, and the programme obviously involved working on the car in this configuration to improve the balance and adapt to the circuit. Unfortunately Paul lost drive exiting the tunnel after about 15 laps in FP2, and so did not run the super-soft tyre. Adrian, however, ran a very good tyre evaluation programme in the afternoon and that will be a good basis for our race strategy. There’s more to come for qualifying, and we’ve now plenty of data to analyse with the additional time available tomorrow.”

Colin Kolles: “Unfortunately Tonio had an accident in the first practice session and the damage was greater than expected so he was unable to run in the afternoon session which is very disappointing. But we have a day to recover from this and will work hard to do so. Narain did long runs so we will analyse the data we extracted from that and hope to have a good day on Saturday.”

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